Category: popular names for boys
By Abby Sandel
In just one more week, the US Social Security Administration will release the new Top 1000 list of popular baby names of 2016. It’s Mardi Gras meets the Super Bowl for name lovers, and we’ve all got our ideas about what the data will bring.
We’ve already shared some guesses about names to watch. Now it’s your turn: what will be the biggest debuts (or returns) to the charts?
Every year, around 90 of the names in the official Top 1000 weren’t there the year before. In some cases, they’re comebacks. Louisa and Frankie, Cordelia and Marjorie have all returned to the rankings after long absences for girls over the last few years. On the boys’ side, we’ve welcomed back Otis and Clyde, Louie and Gordon.
But for every retro revival, there are plenty of brand new names. And it’s often the brand new names that garner all the attention. They’re nearly always driven by the pop culture headlines of the previous year.
Still, it’s not always easy to guess which name will leap from obscurity to a high place on the charts.
That’s where you come in!
This year, we’re awarding prizes to the berries who pick the highest debuting boy or girl name. Each reader can guess one of each; the first correct comment for each gender wins.
By Aimee Tafreshi
Throughout my childbearing years, I curated a list of potential boys’ and girls’ names. In the boys’ camp, the list was glaringly short compared to the possibilities for team pink. When my first child—a girl—was born, I almost named her Brooke. But I loved the name Brooks even more, and given my perceived dearth of boys’ options, I was thrilled to bestow the name upon my second child, a boy. When it came to my youngest son, my favored names varied among stylish choices like Hudson and Emmett, classic picks like Henry, and names that I felt a connection with like Beech (husband said no way!) and Blaine (the winner!).
You must be aware of the 2015 SSA top baby name list by now, but are you a bit confused by the #1 names? Maybe you hear a lot more “Jackson!” than “Noah!” yelled at the playground? Well, by combining the different spellings of each name, we can determine which name is truly more popular. Because when you hear a name, you don’t necessarily know how it is spelled, but you do know you hear the name a lot. Where does it really rank compared to other names?
Note: These are the combined spellings of the names in the Top 1000 only. When the numbers from the entire list are added, positions could change. The main name listed below is the spelling given to the most babies in 2015 (SSA Rank is in parentheses). The others are in alphabetical order. Opinions vary on how different spellings are pronounced. I went with my best judgment.
On the 2015 SSA list, Emma remains #1 in 2015 after taking over the top spot from Sophia in 2014. The rest of the Top 5 changes a bit, with Ava and Isabella switching places. However, the top 5 of the Playground Analysis has not changed from last year at all. Sophia is still on top when you add the alternate spelling Sofia. Emma is down to #3 after the variant of Olivia is also included. And Isabella passes Ava with its various spellings added. The changes between the SSA list and the Playground Analysis are plentiful however. The largest jumps that take place after adding the alternative spellings are by Adalynn (#123 to #9), Elena (#106 to #39), and Madelyn (#59 to #12). Adalynn also makes a huge jump in the Playground Analysis from 2014 to 2015 (#23 to #9).
- Sophia (3) – Sofia
- Olivia (2) – Alivia
- Emma (1)
- Isabella (5) – Isabela, Izabella
- Ava (4) – Avah
- Mia (6) – Miah
- Emily (8) – Emely, Emilee, Emilie, Emmalee
- Zoey (23) – Zoe, Zoie
- Adalynn (123) – Adaline, Adalyn, Addilyn, Addilynn, Adeline, Adelyn, Adelynn, Adilynn
- Amelia (12) – Emelia, Emilia
- Abigail (7)
- Madelyn (59) – Madalyn, Madalynn, Madeleine, Madeline, Madelynn, Madilyn, Madilynn
- Madison (11) – Maddison, Madisyn, Madyson
- Aubrey (21) – Aubree, Aubrie
- Charlotte (9)
- Chloe (17) – Khloe
- Riley (35) – Rylee, Ryleigh, Rylie
- Layla (30) – Laila, Lailah, Laylah, Leila, Leyla
- Avery (16) – Averi, Averie
- Evelyn (15) – Evalyn, Evelynn
- Harper (10)
- Ariana (46) – Arianna, Aryana, Aryanna
- Elizabeth (13) – Elisabeth
- Aria (29) – Ariah, Ariya, Ariyah, Arya
- Lily (25) – Lillie, Lilly
- Scarlett (22) – Scarlet, Scarlette
- Brooklyn (31) – Brooklynn
- Allison (39) – Alison, Alisson, Allyson, Alyson
- Addison (24) – Addisyn, Addyson
- Ella (18)
- Natalie (27) – Natalee, Nataly, Nathalie, Nathaly
- Leah (36) – Lea, Leia, Lia
- Grace (19)
- Victoria (20)
- Maya (69) – Maia, Miya, Mya, Myah
- Mackenzie (73) – Makenzie, Mckenzie
- Nora (41) – Norah
- Hannah (28) – Hana, Hanna
- Elena (106) – Elaina, Alaina, Alayna
- Lillian (26) – Lilian
- Kaylee (61) – Caylee, Kailee, Kailey, Kayleigh, Kaylie
- Camila (43) – Camilla, Kamila
- Hailey (64) – Hailee, Haley, Haylee, Hayley
- Kylie (66) – Kiley, Kylee, Kyleigh
- Anna (44) – Ana
- Sarah (58) – Sara
- Skylar (42) – Skyler
- Peyton (72) – Paityn, Payton
- Katherine (84) – Catherine, Kathryn
- Paisley (45) – Paislee
Both the 2014 SSA list and the Playground Analysis had no major changes to the Top 6, however Jayden and all of its spelling alternatives continue to fall as it moves from #7 to #8 in the Playground Analysis (after falling from #3 to #7 last year). William moves up to #7, but the rest of the top names stay in position. The biggest movers were Kayden (#95 to #9) and Jace (#75 to #29).
- Jackson (17) – Jaxen, Jaxon, Jaxson
- Aiden (13) – Aaden, Adan, Aden, Aidan, Aydan, Ayden, Aydin
- Noah (1) – Noe
- Liam (2)
- Mason (3) – Maison, Mayson
- Jacob (4) – Jakob
- William (5)
- Jayden (20) – Jaden, Jadon, Jaiden, Jaydon
- Kayden (95) – Caden, Caiden, Cayden, Kaden, Kaeden, Kaiden
- Ethan (6)
- Alexander (8) – Alexzander
- James (7)
- Michael (9) – Micheal
- Elijah (11) – Alijah
- Benjamin (10)
- Daniel (12)
- Matthew (15) – Mathew
- Carter (24) – Karter
- Logan (14)
- Lucas (16)
- Grayson (47) – Graysen, Greyson
- David (18)
- Oliver (19)
- Joseph (21)
- Caleb (37) – Kaleb
- Dylan (27) – Dilan, Dillon
- Gabriel (22)
- Samuel (23)
- Jace (75) – Jase, Jayce
- John (26) – Jon
- Anthony (25)
- Christopher (32) – Cristopher, Kristopher
- Isaac (31) – Issac
- Luke (28)
- Henry (29)
- Andrew (30)
- Christian (43) – Cristian, Kristian
- Joshua (33)
- Wyatt (34)
- Landon (46) – Landen, Landyn
- Sebastian (35)
- Owen (36)
- Cameron (56) – Camren, Camron, Kameron, Kamren, Kamron, Kamryn
- Connor (54) – Conner, Conor, Konnor
- Nicholas (62) – Nickolas, Nicolas, Nikolas
- Jonathan (48) – Johnathan, Jonathon
- Nathan (38)
- Ryan (39)
- Jack (40)
- Julian (45) – Julien
Does this echo what you are hearing on the playground?
Great news! Your private lists are back! Access them through your member panel. It will be a few more days till you can modify lists or create new ones.
Any newcomer to the contemporary world of baby names may be amazed at how diverse and – to use a Mom word – different names have become. In the generation since Mom was naming you, the list of US Most Popular Name has expanded to include more ethnically distinct names, words freshly morphed into names, and newly-minted monikers. Mom might not recognize many of today’s Top 500, used for hundreds of babies now but virtually nonexistent in the 1980s.
Warning: If you choose one of these names for your baby, you should expect surprise – or possible shock – from Mom (and Dad too).
Popular baby names today least likely to be familiar to your Mom include:
by Abby Sandel
Back in 1944, names like Judy, Beverly, and Bruce felt new. In the 1970s, Kelly, Justin, and Shawn were novel. And in 1994, we were busy naming our sons original choices like Austin and Tyler, while our daughters became Alexis and Taylor.
Parents are always dreaming up new baby names, taking our inspiration from pop culture and the past. Not every new name feels freshly minted. Some seem like throwbacks, even vintage gems. Others become mainstream so quickly that it’s hard to imagine the names haven’t always been in use.
But make no mistake: plenty of the most popular baby names in the US are recent arrivals, as new the newborns who wear them.
How to define a truly new baby name? There are eight boy names and ten girl names that have only ranked in the US Top 100 for the past five years. They’ve also (almost) never charted in the US Top 1000 prior to 1984 – thirty years ago.